To make low-cost and long-lasting molds, choose latex. Manufactured in liquid form for mold making, it can be brushed on to objects or poured over surfaces to capture exact details. Once exposed to air, the curing process begins, and multiple layers can be built up to yield a thick and pliant mold that can be used for dozens, if not hundreds, of castings. Because latex is a tough material, it can even withstand tough substances such as concrete. With proper care, your latex mold can enjoy a very long life. Find the best mold-making product for your needs in our picks below.
1. Environmental Technology Mold Builder
Compared to other brands of brush-on latex rubber, Environmental Technology’s mold builder is consistently a top performer, creating stable molds that are highly faithful to their model. It can be used directly on common materials, including clay, plaster, and wood, with the mold forming as you brush on individual layers. The process requires time, as you typically need close to a dozen coats, but the liquid is smooth flowing and quick to apply, and layers can be dried with a heat gun—turning a tan color to indicate when it’s ready for another coating. You can also capture complex angles and undercuts using this method. Finally, peeling off the final support is also easy, as the mold retains a nice amount of flex without sacrificing strength.
2. Amaco Rubber Latex
Another brush-on latex, this product performs nearly as well as our top pick. It also requires that you apply several thin layers to achieve a reliable and reusable mold, making it a good choice for artists who aren’t on a time crunch. The finished results are hard-wearing, capable of taking hundreds of castings. Compared to Environmental Technology’s mold builder, this one is slightly less viscous and, therefore, less ideal for filling in deep undercuts.
3. Smooth-On Silicone Mold Making, Liquid Rubber
If time is of the essence, choose Oomoo rubber, which requires no brushing, just a single pour. Simply mix the two included solutions and pour it over your model in a contained space. The liquid cures at room temperature in a matter of hours, to yield a thick and stretchy rubber mold that captures good detail. Each can withstand multiple uses. Note that this is not the best option to capture deep undercuts as the mold tends to tear along such complex lines during the demolding process.
4. FX Latex Molding Liquid Latex
If you prefer a latex with high viscosity, FX’s product is ideal for applying heavy coats. Thick and almost creamy, this latex is perfect for covering larger objects, and it still flows well, so you can pour it straight from the bottle if you wish. You’ll still have to apply about a dozen coats to build up a usable mold. Use the final shell to cast plaster, polyester resin, or urethane with ease.
5. EnvironMolds Premium Latex Casting Rubber
EnvironMolds’ product is on par with FX’s latex in terms of viscosity, and it’s an ideal pick for making rubber masks, prosthetic makeup, and other effective, lifelike props. It can be applied in layers with a brush or used for dip molding, given its excellent consistency and thickness. This latex dries with negligent shrinkage to yield tough but slightly flexible molds that can be cast many times, while maintaining their shape.